More than seven in 10 shoppers want to find out more about the grocery products they buy than they are currently able to get with traditional on-package labels, according to a new national survey. These shoppers want to go beyond the ingredients listed on the label to get information on what the ingredients do and why they are in the product.
According to the Grocers Manufacturers Association (GMA) and the Food Marketing Institute (FMI), these survey findings underscore the importance of SmartLabel, a new digital tool that gives consumers access to detailed information about the products they use and consume. Nearly 28,000 food, beverage, personal care, household and other products throughout food retail stores now are using SmartLabel.
“SmartLabel gives consumers access to more product information than could ever fit on a traditional package label. Consumers can find out not only what ingredients are included in products, but also why those ingredients are in the product, what they do and even where they come from,” the associations said in a statement. “SmartLabel can include detailed descriptions on allergens, usage instructions, information about how the product was produced, how animals were treated during the development process, or the product’s environmental impact.”
Shoppers can access this information by scanning a product’s QR code using the SmartLabel app or the camera feature on a smartphone; going to smartlabel.org; visiting the SmartLabel product’s landing page online; or calling a product’s 1-800 number.
Industry launches SmartLabel consumer education campaign
With SmartLabel so widely available, manufacturers and retailers are launching an education campaign over the next several months to help consumers understand that detailed product information is right at their fingertips and how to find it.
“SmartLabel participation has increased significantly from 4,000 products in early 2017 to nearly 28,000 food, beverage, personal care and household products today,” said Jim Flannery, senior EVP at GMA. “More products are using SmartLabel every week, and that’s why manufacturers and retailers are kicking off a campaign to make sure consumers know about SmartLabel and how it helps them get the additional information they want about the products they use and consume.”
“Consumers see retailers as a trusted source of information about the products they buy, and this education campaign aims to show consumers how they can use QR codes and other digital disclosure methods to seek a closer connection to the foods they eat and the products they apply,” said Mark Baum, chief collaboration officer and SVP for industry relations at FMI.